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Title: Literary Award - Lorne Pierce Medal
Identifier: 2003.3.1
Donor: Bianca de la Roche
Item Date: 1938
Image Creator: Museums of Mississuaga
Creation Date: 2005
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: a] Medal is made of gold plated silver with the face of the disc cast with a raised smooth edge. Within this border is written in raised capital letters 'P-R-O-P-T-E-R; OPERAM ~SUMMAM~AD LITTERAS~PATRIAS~ARGENDAS~REGALIS~SOCIETAS~CANADENSIS~~ADTRIBUIT' The name Mazo de la Roche is engraved below the above inscription and then in raised letters 'SUMMOS HONORES' Beneath, following the circumference of the medal are the words LORNE PIERCE MEDAL. Surrounding the inscription is a wreath of olive leaves with two maple leaves inserted on each side. The reverse side of the medal has a Grecian scene with two maidens holding a torch aloft and being received by an angel with a visage, wings, and CANADA emblazoned across his chest. The artist's name Janowsky is on the right hand side, while 'Copy 1076' is on the left hand side. On the edge of the medal 'BIRKS-ELLIS 14 KG' is engraved. [b] A red leather box with gold lettering stating 'LORNE PIERCE MEDAL 1938'. There is a tiny silver coloured button which releases the catch. Inside the lid is cream silk with 'BIRKS-ELLIS RYRIE LIMITED TORONTO' printed in black. At the base of the box there is black velvet lining indented for the medal. There is a black ribbon which protrudes from beneath the medal for easy removal.

The Lorne Pierce Medal was presented to Mazo de la Roche for an achievement of special significance and merit in imaginative or critical literature in either English or French. Priority is given to critical literature dealing with Canadian subjects. The award is handed out every two years if there is a suitable candidate. [see http://www.rsc.ca/english/awards_pierce.html or http://www.rsc.ca/francais/awards_pierce.html for information in French.]

History: This artifact belonged to Mazo de la Roche and/or her life long companion, Caroline Clement. In 1927, Mazo de la Roche’s (1879-1961) novel ‘Jalna’ won the $10,000 first prize in a competition sponsored by ‘Atlantic Monthly’, which provided her with international recognition and success in the future. Mazo de la Roche is significant to Mississauga as she lived in Clarkson during the time she wrote her award winning novel, 'Jalna'. Mazo lived in Trail Cottage, which was located on property that had originally belonged to the Benares Estate. Some people speculate the Benares House was Mazo’s inspiration for the ‘Whiteoaks' of Jalna. Mazo was friends with the Harrises and had visited Benares. She was born in Newmarket as Mazo Louise Roche. She was the only child of Albert and William Roche. Mazo died on 12 July 1961. See: C.J. Taylor, 'de la Roche, Mazo' ‘Canadian Encyclopaedia, 2000 Edition’ (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1999), 639.

Artifacts donated by Bianca de la Roche, third wife of the adopted son of Mazo de la Roche, René. These items belonged to Mazo and/or her companion and cousin, Caroline Clements. René was adopted in England by Mazo in 1931 and died in 1984.
Copyright: Museums of Mississuaga
Rights & Permissions: Museums of Mississuaga
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